Proper lighting improves the atmosphere of a room and makes everyday tasks easier. The following advice from Cleveland's Kichler Lighting can help you select the right lighting fixture wattage, size and placement:
- Wall sconces should be installed 60 inches above the floor. In hallways, they should be 8 to 10 feet apart.
- To determine the proper size chandelier, add the room dimensions together, but substitute inches for feet. For example, for a 12- by 16-foot room, add 12 and 16 to determine that a 28-inch-diameter chandelier is best.
- A chandelier that hangs over a dining table should have a diameter that's half the table's width. If the room has an 8-foot ceiling, the chandelier should be suspended so the bottom is 30 inches above the tabletop. Add 3 inches for every additional foot of ceiling height.
- To figure the proper illumination for most rooms, multiply the square footage by 1.5. For example, a 12-by-16 room is 192 square feet. Multiply 192 that by 1.5 to determine that the room needs 288 watts of lighting. For concentrated task lighting over a work area, such as a kitchen island, determine the wattage by multiplying the dimensions of the work space by 2.5.
- For kitchens of less than 100 square feet, a two-light fluorescent fixture is adequate. Kitchens of 100 to 250 square feet need a four-light fixture. A larger kitchen needs the larger fixture plus supplemental lighting.